My Sunday column in the Sun is about that horrific fatal accident on the Beltway on Wednesday at 12:40 pm. In gathering thoughts about it, I read up on the probabilities of death in the U.S., as reported by the National Safety Council. It turned up some interesting things — for one, that we are more likely to die by gunshot (intentional or not) than by motor vehicle accident. Suicide is right up there with death by gun, and when you consider that a gun is used in more than half of suicides, then it should be clear — if not already — that America has a serious, self-inflicted gun problem. But, as I say, you knew that already. Even hardcore gun lovers know that; they just don’t acknowledge it.
Also, the opioid problem is worse than I expected: Our odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose continue to be greater than dying in a motor-vehicle crash.
Here from the NSC are the lifetime odds of death for selected causes, 2021: Heart disease: 1 in 6
Cancer: 1 in 7
COVID-19: 1 in 10
Chronic lower respiratory disease: 1 in 31
Opioid overdose (accidental): 1 in 58
Guns (all intents): 1 in 89
Suicide:1 in 91
Motor-vehicle crash: 1 in 93
Fall: 1 in 98
Pedestrian incident: 1 in 485
Motorcyclist: 1 in 747
Drowning: 1 in 1,006
Fire or smoke: 1 in 1,287
Choking on food: 1 in 2,659
Bicyclist: 1 in 3,546
Sunstroke: 1 in 4,655
Electrocution, radiation, extreme temperatures, and pressure: 1 in 13,176
Cataclysmic storm: 1 in 20,098
Sharp objects: 1 in 25,960
Hot surfaces and substances: 1 in 45,908
Dog attack: 1 in 53,843
Hornet, wasp, and bee stings: 1 in 54,516
Lightning: Too few deaths in 2021 to calculate odds
Railway passenger: Too few deaths in 2021 to calculate odds
Passenger on an airplane: Too few deaths in 2021 to calculate odds
One thought on “This is US: Death by gun more likely than death by motor vehicle”
Dan: the statistic with regard to auto accidents is interesting. Years ago, society decided to force auto makers to have seatbelts in cars, and then required shoulder harnesses. And padded dashboards and airbags and better braking systems, and now many cars have cameras and beepers which warn you if you drift off the road, or warn you if there are cars approaching from the rear or automatically apply your brakes. Seat belt use, which was the subject of complaints of motorists initially, has now increased to over 90% compliance.
Better health care, scientific advances, better lifestyle choices and so forth can decrease the likelihood of death by certain diseases.
But…….how do you make a gun safe?
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